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Companies use models to promote their products and services, from cosmetics and fashion to sail boats and sea voyages. But as glamorous as modeling may seem, success depends on knowing how to make the best deal possible when it comes to choosing and accepting work.

That’s not always easy to do, considering the intricacies of contract provisions and intellectual property laws.

Should I Hire an Attorney Representing Models?

Your business is selling your image, and that should include protecting it. When you are offered a modeling job, it is important to your present and future to consult with an attorney who is experienced in drafting and negotiating contracts with modeling agencies and securing rights to your image under intellectual property law.

To accept a modeling job without knowing how your work will be used and what rights you have to your work could be harmful to your career and your future.

What Does a Model Attorney Do?

In a word, he or she will protect you. Your attorney will study the modeling agency’s contract to ensure that your best interests are included. For example, will you be paid for a one-time use of your image, or will you be paid every time your image is used and how much in either situation?

Your attorney also will negotiate with the modeling agency’s legal representation to include provisions in the contract that, for example, gives you some control of how your image is to be used, whether it is for one time in a local market or in a national ad campaign.

Other considerations include negotiating a photographer release, acquiring a copyright for your images, preparing a “take-down” notice forcing Web sites to remove your image under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and notifying copyright enforcement agencies on your behalf when your image copyright is infringed.

If your image is illegally used, your may have a valid copyright infringement lawsuit and you will need legal representation to accomplish that.

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